Summary: We bring whoever we are with us wherever we go, for better or worse.
Life Begins at Thirty
1. What is the best age to enjoy life?
Age 0-20 - You have lots of time, good health but no money, so it can be difficult to enjoy life to fullest as you definitely need money to enjoy.
Age 20-65- You might have some money, but you don’t have time to enjoy it.
Age 65+- You might have money and time, but too many aches, pains, and health problems to enjoy life.
2. The truth is that there is no objective answer to that question. Too many variables.
3. Most of us have a “main era” of life, a time when we perhaps accomplish most or perhaps are in our prime. For Joseph, his life took off when he was thirty. For Moses, it was when he was 80. For Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, it was perhaps in her 60’s. For the Apostle John, it was when he was yet a teenager.
4. All of these made a huge difference that affects our lives today, but they were trained by God, released to serve at the right time, and remained faithful.
5. For Joseph, it was when his character was fully formed
Main Idea: We bring whoever we are with us wherever we go, for better or worse.
I. Joseph Rose to A Position of Influence Not by Politics, but CHARACTER and COMPETENCE (1-57).
A. The narrative begins with Pharaoh’s DISTURBING dreams (1-8)
1. One summer as a lad, I had a dream I could not get out my bedroom. When I woke up, I discovered I had mangled the window screen.
2. Two similar dreams (share what they were)
3. A troubled spirit – was God working?
4. Wise men and magicians could not interpret. Why?
B. The cupbearer belatedly REMEMBERS Joseph (9-13)
1. After two long years
2. He felt guilt and remorse for his neglect in bringing up the matter
C. Joseph listens to and INTERPRETS Pharaoh’s dreams (14-33)
1. Joseph extracted from prison, bathed, shaved, and clothed appropriately
2. He prefaced his offer to help by explaining God, not He, would interpret.
3. Joseph says both dreams have the same meaning; double= certain, soon
D. Joseph suggest a STRATEGY in light of these dreams (34-36).
1. Diviners were supposed to predict the future.
2. Magicians were supposed to control the future with magic and wisdom.
3. Joseph did both: predicted and came up with a plan to control.
E. Joseph so IMPRESSES the Pharaoh that he makes Joseph the VIZIER (37-45)
A memory of Joseph may have been merged into the legend of Imhotep:
“According to Egyptologists, the Pharaoh Djoser employed an adviser named Imhotep, who designed his pyramid. Prior to that time, Pharaohs were buried in low, rectangular structures called mastaba. Imhotep’s design used a creative combination of stone and architecture to create a “step pyramid.” This building was significantly larger, more durable, and more beautiful than the tombs that preceded it. Djoser was so impressed with the result that he allowed Imhotep’s name to be inscribed within the tomb—something incredibly rare in Egyptian history.
“Secondary evidence suggests Imhotep was an accomplished physician. There are reasons to believe he wrote the Edwin Smith Papyrus, an ancient text on diagnosing and treating different medical conditions. Mythology of later centuries considered Imhotep a god or demigod of medicine.
“Legend also connects Imhotep to Egypt’s rescue from a seven-year famine. Inscriptions, carved many centuries later during the reign of Ptolemy, credit Imhotep with ending a long drought connected to the lack of flooding of the Nile River. Imhotep’s deliverance of Egypt involved his receiving a dream from one of the Egyptian gods and counseling the Pharaoh on the best way to make amends with the offended deity.” [Gotquestions.org]
1. Pharaoh was impressed with Joseph.
2. He recognized a divine connection in Joseph.
• Unbelievers often recognize there is something different with believers, even supernatural; not that same as being ready to believe.
3. He not only puts Joseph in charge of the food storage project, but the administration of the land of Egypt. People loved to put Joseph in charge.
• Not unusual for pharaohs to elevate commoners
4. To naturalize him an elevate him socially, Pharaoh gives him a prestigious wife and Egyptian name.
F. Joseph demonstrates his COMPETENCE (46-49, 53-57)
1. Joseph fills all storage buildings to the hilt with surplus crops (bought?)
2. Beyond their ability to keep books.
3. The Lord blessed and prospered.
4. During the famine years, money poured into the Egyptian coffers
5. Foreign money also comes into Egypt from surrounding nations.
G. Joseph becomes the father of two SONS (50-52).
1. Manasseh – One who helps me to forget
2. Ephraim – Fruitful
3. Very important in Bible history: these each become “half-tribes;”